The Minnesota Vikings (5-2) host Tampa Bay (2-4) on Thursday night at Mall of America Field in a matchup of former NFC Central foes. The Vikings own a 5-6 record in Thursday night games, will host the 1st NFL Network game in franchise history and play only the 2nd game on the Network, the other being at Green Bay on Thursday night 12/21/06. The Tampa game will mark the 1st prime time game at Mall of America Field since Green Bay visited on Monday night 10/5/09 and the 1st home Thusday-nighter since Detroit visited on 11/30/00. Minnesota is 57-55 all-time in prime time games.
Vikings-Buccaneers Gameday Page
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Game Press Release
TV: KARE 11 / NFL Network
Play-By-Play: Brad Nessler Analyst: Mike Mayock
Sideline Reporter: Alex Flanagan
RADIO: KFAN-FM 100.3 / KTLK-AM 1130
Play-by-Play: Paul Allen Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline Reporters: Greg Coleman & Ben Leber
Pre-Game Show: 5 PM CT
KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 74-station, 6-state Minnesota Vikings Radio Network. Click here to view all stations on the Vikings Radio Network.
Blair Joins Vikings Ring of Honor
In late July, the Vikings announced former LB Matt Blair will become the 20th member of the Vikings Ring of Honor and will be inducted October 25 during a halftime ceremony of the Thursday night game against the Buccaneers.
Blair, a 2nd-round pick of the Vikings out of Iowa State in 1974, played LB for the Vikings from 1974-85 and still ranks second in team history with 1,452 tackles; he collected 220 tackles in 1980, marking the 3rd-most tackles by a player in team history. Only fellow Ring of Honor member Scott Studwell and Roy Winston played in more games at LB for the Vikings than Blair’s 160 games (with 130 starts) and no other Vikings LB had more sacks (23.0) or INTs (16). Blair had a knack for being around the ball at the right time, as illustrated by the fact that he blocked 20 kicks during his career and had three games in which he blocked two kicks.
A 6-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro, Blair made his appearances in the all-star game in consecutive seasons (1977-82), and Alan Page (nine) is the only defensive player in club history with more Pro Bowls to his credit. Blair played on two Super Bowl teams with the Vikings, and the club won NFC Central Division titles and went to the playoff s in six of his fi rst seven seasons in the League.
• Vikings WR Percy Harvin ranks 2nd in the NFL with 53 receptions. Harvin’s 271 career receptions are the 2nd most in team history in a players opening 4 seasons. Harvin has caught a pass in every game he’s played in his career including playoff s (54).
• Vikings K Blair Walsh leads the League with 27 kickoff touchbacks. Walsh is also tied for 3rd in the NFL with 16 FGs made and 4th most points scored in the NFL with 63.
• The Vikings 72 sacks since the start of the 2011 season are the most in the NFL. During that same time span, the Vikings have the most forced fumbles (25) and are tied for the 2nd most fumble recoveries (21) in the League.
• Vikings RB Adrian Peterson registered his 29th career 100-yard game vs. the Cardinals. Peterson is tied with Robert Smith for 1st in franchise history.
• Vikings DE Jared Allen has recorded a sack in 5 straight games. Allen set the team record with 11 straight games with at least 0.5 sack from 2010-11.
• Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph is tied for the league lead among all TEs with 5 TD catches.
• Vikings S Harrison Smith is the 1st Vikings rookie to return an interception for a TD since 2003.
• NFL Network’s Brad Nessler was the radio voice of the Vikings in 1988-89, is a native of St. Charles, MN and graduated from Minnesota State-Mankato.
Vikings Big Days vs. Buccaneers
• TE John Carlson led the Seattle Seahawks with 7 receptions for 86 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown catch against the Buccaneers on 12/20/09.
• LB Chad Greenway recorded a career-high 15 solo tackles along with 1.0 sack and 1 PD against Tampa Bay on 11/16/08.
• WR Michael Jenkins caught 7 passes for 80 yards against the Buccaneers as a member of the Atlanta Falcons on 11/29/09. The Falcons won 20-17.
• RB Adrian Peterson ran for 120 yards on 25 carries and 2 TDs against the Buccaneers in a 24-20 loss in Week 2 of the 2011 season.
• CB Antoine Winfield led the Vikings with 11 tackles against Tampa Bay in Week 2 of the 2011 season.
Vikings vs. Buccaneers Series Notes
• The Vikings and Buccaneers have played 52 times overall with Minnesota holding a 31-21-0 series record.
• The Vikings own the advantage in the regular season series. The teams have met 52 previous times in the regular season with the Vikings holding an edge at 31-21-0. The two teams have never met in the postseason.
• The last time the Vikings and Buccaneers met was in Week 2 of 2011 at Mall of America Field, a Buccaneers 24-20 win.
• This will be the second regular season meeting between Minnesota and Tampa Bay since Leslie Frazier became head coach of the Vikings. The Buccaneers beat the Vikings 24-20 in Week 2 of the 2011 season.
• The Vikings and Buccaneers have played three overtime games in their series history, with Tampa Bay holding the edge 2-1. The last overtime contest was in 1995, a 20-17 Buccaneers win.
• The Vikings are currently 18-8 against the Buccaneers at home. Minnesota hasn’t beat Tampa Bay at home since 2001.
• The Buccaneers have won 5 straight games against the Vikings. The last time the Vikings beat Tampa Bay was 2001.
A Win Would...
• Improve the Vikings record against the NFC to 344-271-9 all time.
• Improve the Vikings record against the NFC South to 74-46-0 all time.
• Improve Minnesota’s record to 32-21-0 in the overall series with the Buccaneers.
• Give Leslie Frazier his 1st win over the Buccaneers as Vikings Head Coach.
• Give the Vikings their 1st win over the Buccaneers since 2001.
• Tampa Bay’s Assistant Offensive Line Coach Steve Loney coached for the Vikings from 2002-05. Loney was the Vikings Offensive Line Coach from 2002-04 and the team’s Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach in 2005. Loney also spent 1998-99 as the University of Minnesota’s Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach.
• Buccaneers QBs Coach Ron Turner is the father of Cam Turner, the Vikings Assistant to the Head Coach.
• Buccaneers T Donald Penn entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Vikings in 2006. Penn spent time on the Vikings practice squad that season before being signed by the Bucs.
• Vikings LBs Coach Fred Pagac played TE for the Buccaneers in 1976.
• Vikings LB Tyrone McKenzie spent part of the 2010 season with the Buccaneers.
• Vikings WRs Coach George Stewart (1992-95), DBs Coach Joe Woods (2004-05) and Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams (2001) have all coached with the Buccaneers. Woods received his 1st NFL experience with the Bucs.
• Bucs Head Equipment Manager James Sorenson spent 1991-97 as an equipment assistant for the Vikings. Sorenson was also a ball boy for the Vikings.
• Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
• Buccaneers Offensive Line Coach Bob Bostad (1992-94), DBs Coach Ron Cooper (1984) and Offensive Assistant Coach Ben McDaniels (2004-05) all served as a Graduate Assistant with the Gophers.
• Vikings WR Michael Jenkins is from Tampa and held his 1st Michael Jenkins football camp in Tampa during the 2012 off season. Jenkins was an all-sport standout at Leto High School.
• Vikings LB Tyrone McKenzie hails from the Tampa area, attending Riverview High School and the University of South Florida.
• Viking S Mistral Raymond attended the University of South Florida and graduated high school from nearby Palmetto High.
• Bucs Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan and Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer served on 3 different coaching staff s together
– Youngstown State(1997-98), Jaguars (2002) and Giants (2004-05). Priefer also coached alongside Bucs Special Teams Coordinator Bob Ligashesky and Offensive Assistant Coach Ben McDaniels with the Denver Broncos in 2010.
• Vikings TEs Coach Jimmie Johnson played under Bucs Senior Offensive Assistant Coach Jimmy Raye for the Chiefs in 1994.
• Bucs QBs Coach Ron Turner and Vikings Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams coached together in Indianapolis from 2010-11.
• Bucs RBs Coach Earnest Byner and Vikings Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave coached together while in Washington in 2005. Byner also coached alongside Vikings QBs Coach Craig Johnson in Tennessee from 2008-09.
• Bucs K Connor Barth kicked the final 10 games for the Chiefs in 2008 under Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer.
• Bucs TE Dallas Clark played under Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier (2005-06), Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams (2003-11) and Assistant Defensive Line Coach Diron Reynolds (2003-06) with the Indianapolis Colts.
• Bucs P Michael Koenen played under Vikings Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave for the Atlanta Falcons from 2006-10. Koenen was also teammates with Vikings WR Michael Jenkins in Atlanta from 2004-10.
• Bucs DT Gary Gibson played for Vikings DL Coach Brendan Daly from 2009-11 with the St. Louis Rams. Daly also coached with Bucs Assistant Offensive Line Coach Steve Loney with the Rams from 2009-11.
• Bucs DBs Coach Ron Cooper coached Vikings LB Jasper Brinkley and Bucs T Jamon Meredith at South Carolina from 2006-08.
• Bucs LBs Coach Bob Fraser and Vikings QBs Coach Craig Johnson coached together at Rutgers from 1987-88
• Vikings QB Christian Ponder (2006-10), DT Letroy Guion (2005-07), Buccaneers Dekoda Watson (2006-09) and LB Markus White (2008-10) played at Florida State.
• Vikings WR Percy Harvin and Buccaneers S Ahmad Black were teammates at the University of Florida from 2007-08. The two helped lead the Gators to the 2008 BCS National Championship.
• Vikings LB Chad Greenway and Buccaneers TE Dallas Clark played together at the University of Iowa from 2001-02.
• Vikings G Mark Asper and Buccaneers RB LeGarrette Blount were teammates at the Oregon from 2008-09.
• Vikings K Blair Walsh and Bucs DT Corvey Irvin both played at Georgia in 2008.
• Buccaneers C Ted Larsen and Vikings LB Audie Cole played together at NC State from 2007-09.
• Bucs FB/TE Erik Lorig (2005-08) and WR Chris Owusu (2008-11) were teammates with Vikings RB Toby Gerhart (2006-09) played at Stanford University.
• Vikings T Phil Loadholt and Bucs DT Gerald McCoy played together at Oklahoma University from 2007-08.
• Vikings DE Brian Robison and Buccaneers DT Roy Miller spent 2005-06 at the University of Texas together as teammates.